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How are the best interests of the children determined?

There are many parents in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, who no longer live with the other parent of their children. However, living away from their former partner does not mean that they want to live away from their children, with whom they want to maintain a positive ongoing relationship.

That results in child custody disputes. Ideally, both parents will set aside their differences with each other and focus on the best interests of the children.

What is in the best interests of the children?

Provided both parents are fit to provide care and of good character, it is in the best interests of the children to spend substantial amounts of time with both parents.

Why is that important?

Children have a bond with each parent, and that should continue to develop across all the years after the parents stop living together. If the bond with one parent is suddenly minimized, the children will feel rejected and unloved no matter how many explanations are given to them. Additionally, each parent brings unique benefits to the children, including teaching the children how to deal with different aspects of life.

What do courts consider when determining their view of the best interests of the children?

If the children are old enough, their expressed wishes may be considered. In all cases, the psychological and physical health of the parents is considered. Of course, the key aspect of that is ensuring that the parents can provide a safe and healthy environment for the children. The age and gender of the children may also be considered, along with any special needs the children have and the ability of each parent to address those needs.

Additionally, the children's relationship to other children, such as those from one parent's previous relationship, can be taken into account. The children's school and community connections are also considered.

Source: FindLaw, "Focusing on the "Best Interests" of the Child," accessed April 12, 2018

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